By Evan Varsamis, a NY-based entrepreneur. CEO at Gadget Flow and Mintify.me. Cofounder of HustleClick, Shorai.Xyz and CreatorClub.
The non-fungible token (NFT) space changes every week, and these companies are competing for attention. In 2021, all kinds of NFTs soared — from memberships and utility NFTs to generated art and one-on-ones. Sales broke records month after month on OpenSea and Rarible. Some worried that it was a Ponzi scheme or otherwise untrustworthy. Then we saw billionaires, Hollywood actors, musicians and brands like Nike and Adidas jump into the space.
There are so many niches in the NFT market, including metaverse-related NFTs — like items to dress your avatars — land opportunities on Sandbox and Decentraland, membership NFTs that are offered as the key to private communities and profile pictures (PFPs) that cost millions of dollars.
It’s almost impossible to keep up with what happens weekly in the NFT space as there are hundreds of new projects launching, new technologies developing and partnerships forming. And that’s why there is the saying in this market that a day in NFTs feels like a week in any other industry. There are some innovative companies that are trying to make things different in the Web3 space.
By going down the rabbit hole of NFTs, you’ll realize that it’s not just about the NFTs or blockchain technology. In fact, the way that new products and businesses are built today is completely different from how startups and companies launched a year ago.
For instance, a lot of companies are launching projects and offering utility NFTs before they launch their product; the value proposition is that their advocates are paying a fraction of the price compared to when the product/service launches and the team have enough capital to scale the product.
There is a lot of interest in the community for decentralized autonomous organization (DAO) companies. A lot of today’s services and products that are controlled by public companies could be decentralized organizations in the future controlled by the community instead of boards of directors, but they are not regulated properly just yet and a lot of people are hesitant. Others just wait on the side for some federal action in the U.S. to make them legal entities. There is only one state that recognizes DAO companies so far — Wyoming — but in the form of an LLC.
The objectives, the approach, the team structure and even the roles are 90% new — and they’ll disrupt a lot of industries. I bump into new companies daily, and I’m mind-blown by their innovative business models and the concepts and approaches they take toward problems. For instance, there is a noteworthy company called QGlobe that has a credible team. They are working toward providing NFT creators with the tools, team and resources for creating metaverse games for their NFT projects.
The OpenSea has just recently crossed 1 million-plus active wallets, and there is already a company formed ready to help NFT creators elevate their projects. Most of the newcomers in the space would have to go through secondary marketplaces, such as OpenSea or Rarible, buying their first NFT through a peer-to-peer system.
Even though the industry is still small, I just saw last week another marketplace called LooksRare that disrupted the peer-to-peer market by rewarding buying and selling. Creators in the space are also introducing new ways to interact with their NFTs through a bunch of benefits that are impossible to keep track of if you engage with multiple projects.
Some creators offer royalties back to their members on a monthly basis based on the royalties that they get from peer-to-peer sales, while others partner with similar projects to offer exclusive whitelist spots for their upcoming drop.
The NFT space will keep evolving and growing rapidly in 2022. A lot of people anticipate the music industry will influence the space in the coming months, and others are waiting for gas fees to drop to start trading NFTs, which will probably happen later this year with the upcoming Ethereum network upgrade.
One way or another, NFTs will soon become mainstream. They won’t be only popular art projects and music but also utility-based NFTs. This technology will become part of our lives, simplifying and enriching much of what we do online.